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LGLWSM Newsletter 035 - The Power of Blueberries
May 28, 2010

Now that we’re moving into blueberry season, you should know how much these little gems can do for your health. Its always better to eat fruit (at room temperature) when its in season, so stock up on blueberries where and when you can!

Blueberries have the very highest antioxidant capacity of all other fruits, which means they can help with a number of diseases and conditions. Highly purified pro-anthocyanidin found in blueberry leaves, has been found to inhibit Hepatitis C, and blueberries have been used for centuries to improve liver problems and other liver conditions. Blueberries also provide a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs that have so many unwanted side effects.

Blueberries also contain Epicatechin, which helps improve liver function. While grapes, green tea, and other foods also contain Epicatechin, blueberries carry other beneficial ingredients that help to improve body function. Pterostilbene, another major component of blueberries, protects against colon cancer. Yearly, there are an estimated 50,000 people who die from colorectal cancer.

Additionally, about 1.3 million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide this year, and 465,000 will end up dying from it. Blueberry extract inhibits the growth of cancerous breast cancer cells and was found to decrease enzymes associated with spreading cancer.

If you use blueberry extract, check to make sure that it contains standardized pterostilbene. Of course supplementing with blueberry extract will not deliver the same results as eating fresh blueberries. When you eat fresh berries, your body is better able to absorb and use the nutrients more effectively. While supplements are a great way to get vital nutrients when you’re in a pinch, they are not as good as eating real foods. It is important to get most of your nutrients in your diet from whole and healthy foods.

Unfortunately, all blueberries are not equal. Blueberries that are both fresh and organic have a lot more antioxidant power than non-organic blueberries. Blueberries that have been sprayed with harmful pesticides or insecticides may do more harm than good. In fact, many chemical pesticides are neurotoxins that have been linked to conditions such as ADHD. The best way to avoid harmful by-products is to buy local 100% organic produce. Growing your own blueberry bushes is also a great way to ensure the quality of the blueberries you consume. You only need two blueberry bushes to start the cross-pollination process and need little care. A bit of sunlight and water is all you'll need to have fresh blueberries in your own yard!

Preserving blueberries is also very important. If you juice your blueberries, it is important that you drink the juice in a timely manner. In other words, don’t just juice (anything) and walk away. Drink all juices in as little time as possible to preserve vital nutrients. Freezing blueberries is also a great way to have them available for anytime, so stock up now while you can.

There are a multitude of ways to serve blueberries too. There are blueberry pancakes/waffles, smoothies, parfaits, muffins, pies, cobblers, breads, and so much more! You can also add them to your cereal or oatmeal!

Here’s a simple low fat blueberry muffin recipe that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters! And just in time for any Memorial Day picnic!

Low Fat Blueberry Muffins


Vegetable oil spray
2 cups (10 oz) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 oz) cake flour
1 cup (7 oz) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling (Use coarse sugar for sprinkling)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt (Use low-fat yogurt and not nonfat yogurt.)
2 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray.

  • Whisk 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, cake flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat 3/4 cup more sugar and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl and beaters as well.

  • Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in one-third of the flour mixture and half of the yogurt. Repeat with half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining yogurt. Beat in the remaining flour until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

  • Toss the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of all-purpose flour, then gently fold them into the batter with a rubber spatula. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup sprayed with vegetable oil spray, portion the batter into each muffin cup, then portion any remaining batter evenly among the cups using a small spoon Sprinkle the tops with the remaining tablespoon sugar.

    Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    Yummy! Happy Memorial Day Weekend All!

    Until Next Time!

    Stay Sweet and Be Beautiful!



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